Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Random File Generation Service

Q1: What is the File Generation Service and what is it used for?

The File Generation Service lets you generate large amounts of true random values to your specification. It is intended to be useful for many different purposes, such as generating promo codes for printing or data sets for scientific simulations. You can generate up to 20,000,000 values in a single file.

The service supports four different types of values:

  • Alphanumeric Strings
  • Integers
  • Decimal Fractions
  • Gaussians

Q2: What kind of randomness are used for the files?

The service uses the highest quality true randomness generated from atmospheric noise, which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-randomness typically used in computer programs. Our Introduction to Randomness explains the differences between the two approaches. The quality of our generator has been independently certified by Gaming Labs International, and we also publish our Real-Time Statistics online, so you can see for yourself.

Q3: What exactly are ‘file sets’ and why do I need them?

A ‘file set’ is a collection of related files in which all the values are similar. By placing multiple files in the same file set, you can ensure that the values in the different files are generated with exactly the same parameters, and you can also ensure uniqueness of the values across different files in the set, if you need the values not to repeat.

For example, let's say you work for a printing company and need to generate promotional codes for a campaign for one of your customers. You may want to generate the codes in multiple batches, as the customer needs them, e.g., one batch in September and another in November, and maybe more batches the following year. You also want to make sure that the codes that appear in the earlier batches don't appear again in the later ones.

To use the File Generation Service for this, you should create a file set for that particular campaign and then create a file within that file set for each batch. Every time your customer needs a new batch of codes, you generate a new file and add it to the file set. You can download all previous files from the file set at any time.

Q4: Which formats will my files be available in?

Your files will automatically be generated in as many of the following formats as possible:

  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Comma-Separated Values (CSV)
  • Tab-Separated Values (TSV)
  • Excel 97 (XLS)
  • Excel 2003 (XLSX)

Some of the formats only support up to a certain number of values, so if your files have more values than that, we won't generate those formats. For full details, please see About the Formats.

Q5: Can I add a prefix or a suffix to my generated values?

Unfortunately, the File Generation Service does not support the adding of prefixes or suffixes to your values at this time.

If this is of interest to you, please let us know.

Q6: How many values I can have in a file and in a file set?

The maximum number of values you can have in a single file is 20,000,000.

The maximum number of values you can have in a file set is 20,000,000. The total number of values in all your files in that file set cannot exceed this number.

If you need more values than this, please get in touch and we'll see what we can do.

If your values are being generated with the ‘Eliminate duplicates’ filter (i.e., without replacement), then there is an additional restriction that only up to 90% of the possible values can be used. For example, if you generate four-character uppercase alphanumeric codes (i.e., containing A-Z, 0-9), then the total number of possible codes can be calculated as follows:

364 = 1,679,616

The maximum number of codes that can be generated in such a file set is therefore:

0.9 × 1,679,616 ≈ 1,511,654

If your values are generated without the ‘Eliminate duplicates’ filter (i.e., with replacement), then the 90% restriction does not apply.

Q7: I have a question that isn't answered in the FAQ. Can you help?

We are happy to take additional questions! Just drop us an email.